Research Methods in Service Innovation
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Research Methods in Service Innovation

Edited by Flemming Sørensen and Francesco Lapenta

Research Methods in Service Innovation provides an essential methodological toolbox for researchers, students and practitioners interested in better understanding innovation and improving innovation processes in service organisations. Each chapter presents a specific method, introduces its theoretical foundations, explains its practical application, and provides examples and suggestions for its implementation.
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Chapter 6: Mapping innovation processes: visual techniques for opening and presenting the black box of service innovation processes

Anne Rørbæk Olesen


This chapter argues for the usefulness of visual mapping techniques for performing qualitative analysis of complex service innovation processes. Different mapping formats are presented, namely, matrices, networks, process maps, situational analysis maps and temporal situational analysis maps. For the purpose of researching service innovation processes, the three latter formats are argued to be particularly interesting. Process maps can give an overview of different periods and milestones in a process in one carefully organized location. Situational analysis maps and temporal situational analysis maps can open up complexities of service innovation processes, as well as close them down for presentational purposes. The mapping formats presented are illustrated by displaying maps from a research project example, and the chapter is concluded with a brief discussion of the limitations and pitfalls of using visual mapping techniques.

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